Just four days apart and two more fatalities caused by dogs – or rather caused by owners – hit the headlines.
The details of the particular circumstances hardly matter as they will have the same root causes:
- It is too easy to breed, buy and sell dogs
- There is no compulsion to attend any form of educational or training course before owning a dog
- Reams of legislation are continually being passed but none is routinely enforced
- There are far too few resources to instil and police responsible ownership.
The end result – people get injured and die. Dogs get injured and die.
Labour MP Barry Sheerman in whose constituency of Huddersfield a fatal dog attack occurred on Monday has called for the dog licence to be revived. Why on earth does he think that a piece of paper will begin to address the serious problems we have with dog ownership and society? A dog licence would record little more than the, now compulsory, microchip database. It needs no surveys to be certain that neither 100% of dog owners comply with this law nor that it is not being monitored or policed effectively.
If insufficient resources exist for the police to even be educated about the problems of dog ownership, let alone do anything about it; if insufficient resources exist for owners to be compelled to learn about their dogs before and during ownership, why will they be provided to administer a dog licence? Local authorities are far more concerned about bringing in additional revenue by fining owners for leaving a trace of faces behind when picking up than they are addressing serious concerns such as poor welfare, ignorance of owners and systematic abuse of dogs.